Sunday, February 11, 2018

#nf10for10 Event: My Top Ten Favorite Contenders for the Robert F. Sibert Award

I'm participating in this fantastic #nf10for10 event,  hosted by Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek.!  I'm a day late, but better late than never!

Since the ALA Youth Media Awards are tomorrow, I thought I'd list my Top Ten Favorite Contenders for the Robert F. Sibert Award!  These are in no particular order of favorites...


A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider--The Story of E. B. White

We're so lucky to have TWO amazing picture books about E.B. White - 2016's Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet, and now this one, which is more geared toward younger children.  I love how Barbara Herkert and Lauren Castillo captured the sweetness of the barn and E.B. White's love of animals.  I'm a huge fan of E.B. White, and this book did him justice.



Jess Keating's "The World of Weird Animals" series has enormous kid appeal, and I would love to see the ALA Youth Awards honor her!  Like Pink is for Blobfish, this book features weird and wonderful animals with quirky and humorous illustrations by David DeGrand.  This is children's nonfiction at its finest - start with a great topic and watch kids want to delve further into research of their own!



Wow!  Like Roy's 2015's Sibert Honor book, Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great White's of California's Farallon Islands, this promises to be another award winner.  I mean, look at the cover!!!  I love the circular structure, fascinating facts about elephants, and beautiful art.  Plus, who doesn't like elephants?!


Before She Was Harriet

The creative structure of this book (backwards chronological structure), the inspirational text in verse, and gorgeous art make this a winner.  I would love to use it with kids as a mentor text for their own memoirs or biographies.  I'm amazed when authors can give us a fresh look at a well-known person so that we learn new things - Lesa Cline-Ransome did just that!  Innovation at its finest!



I always enjoy stories about Frida Kahlo - she's fascinating! This is another one that shows us a well-known person from a different perspective - a snippet from her childhood and love for animals. Already an award winner (a 2017 NYT Best Illustrated Children's Book) - this pick may be in for another! Beautiful colors, lots of energy, and captures the spirit of Kahlo's art.



I seem to be choosing several biographies!  I didn't know much about Muddy Waters before I picked up this book - another 2017 NYT Best Illustrated Children's Book - so I was glad I read it!  Besides learning a lot about him, I loved how the illustrations seemed to mirror Muddy's invincible and wild spirit!  The theme of this book, to pursue your passions and never let anyone tell you that you can't do something, will inspire kids!



I would love to see Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal win a Sibert for this third installment in the "Over and Under" series.  I love how each one not only introduces us to the rich diversity and hidden worlds of nature, but also to wonderful family interactions between parent and child and the peaceful quiet of the outdoors.


Grand Canyon

Just look at the 3-D effect Jason Chin creates for the cover of this captivating book about the Grand Canyon!  I feel like I'm part of the illustration.  There is an amazing amount of information about this landmark in Chin's book, and the illustrations continue to add to this astounding landform.  If kids have already been there, it will enrich their experiences, and if they haven't, they will certainly want to visit someday!



I thought this was a stunning informational book about an unusual subject: medieval falconry.  I loved learning about falconry through the mix of poetry and facts.  Absolutely beautiful illustrations.  Very engaging and could lead to kids wanting to know more.  



Another fantastic biography in my picks.  I enjoyed reading about Grace Hopper, who revolutionized computer coding. She had such a zest for learning and problem solving.  Perfect to share during STEM and STEAM projects.

I have to cheat a bit and include ONE chapter book that I think has a good chance of winning a Sibert Award!

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

This is an extensively researched and amazing account of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, Theo. I was able to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam several years back; I wish this book had been published before that - I would have had an even more deeper appreciation of his art. I loved learning about his close relationship with Theo throughout a very troubled life. Heiligman wrote a compelling biography that read more like a novel than a nonfiction read. Excellent! I highly recommend the audio version, although I'd like to see a print version.

I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!  Watch it live here: